How to be Present in Nature Part III: Connect with Open Water

Apparently, due to coronavirus lockdowns, there were people who have spent more time in nature than usual, as a way to cope with the stress and uncertainty. For those 3-4 months, going to your yard, local park, beach, lake, or pond, was the only escape for a while. In this Vox article, Quarantine Has Changed Us and It’s Not All Bad, spending more time in nature is a hobby that some folks want to keep even post-lockdown; I think it’s great!

In the article, one person mentions developing a morning routine of “quiet listening” with her children on the porch – which reminds me of a post I wrote about spending my mornings in quiet, listening to the birds. There really is power in starting your day off without the chaos of the wold coming at you from the screen. But now, it’s July, and it’s hot! And while I love parks and greenery, and the rustling of the leaves in the wind – I also LOVE hearing the ocean waves. I love smell of the sea, of swimming in it – the expansiveness.

I enjoy walking up to the shore where the water slinks up to the sand, to see what little treasures that sea has left behind. I watch what gets pulled back in with the tide. I watch the seabirds swoop down into the water, eat mussels off jetties, and float in the water. I watch them rest on shore, waiting for crumbs from beachgoers.

Thankfully in New York City, we have beaches, large rivers, creeks, and ponds across the five boroughs. These are all great places to just relax and let your mind water. When you’re at these bodies of water, you can be mindful, you can be still.

Here are some ways to be present by water:

  • Observe any water waves and ripples, just watch and be.
  • If you’re at the beach, how do you feel when watching the waves? Do you have any thoughts? Maybe your mind just frees itself.
  • What birds are around the water?
  • If you look down, can you see any fish or turtles?
  • Do you notice the position of the sun? Or maybe the moon? Would you be able to guesstimate the time based on the position?
  • Sit and write. Write with a pen and paper, type into notes. Journal your thoughts.

Also, it’s Cancer season! Cancer, the motherly, intuitive, sentimental water sign. So, it’s the perfect time to sit by the water and reflect, getting in touch with your feelings. Discover that divine feminine energy – water is healing, water is soothing, water flows.

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one”
-Jacques Yves Cousteau

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